Strawberry Hill Farm / Blog / Water - tomorrow?

Water - tomorrow?

Posted on by Tim Livingstone

We've had a busy week with lots getting done.  Piglets have learned to stay in their fence, another 60 round bales of hay have been made, our first 230 broiler birds have come off pasture and are in the freezer and lots of garden care has been done.

We are starting to see a few crops wilting in the field and are hoping that there will be rain tomorrow.  We are in a better position than many because organic practices help to maintain good organic matter which holds water better in dry weather.

Our new warehouse is coming along well and we are waiting for NB Power to hook up power.  There is a farmer tour scheduled for July 26 and we hope to be moved in by then even if everything is not completely finished.  We believe that savings in efficiencies will in themselves be enough to pay for the warehouse so we are excited to be almost ready!

You can see the warehouse in the distance in this next photo.

So far our celery and celery root are the best crop we have ever seen.  They like steady moisture and the plastic mulch helps but we really need to irrigate.  I tried to irrigate with a garden hose from our worker's house and unfortunately it drained the shallow well...

Once there is power in the warehouse we will be able to water from there.  The new well provides 6 gallons per minute so that will provide a good amount for drip tapes and light irrigation.  We are expecting a little rain tomorrow so I'm hoping it will be enough to hold us over until their is power to the well.

The dry weather has been good for making hay.  We have enough hay to get through the winter but I'm hoping to make a little more so we can sell some hay as well.

We have put a lot of effort into preparing land for future crops. This includes seeding about 20 acres of buckwheat, spreading manure, planting hay mix, etc.  It amazes me how much of a difference it makes in the quality of the soil to use good crop rotation and organic methods when compared to the chemically farmed land we have started to farm and convert to organic.

Here is part of our field of winter cabbage.  Good cultivating help and drier weather have helped us to keep well on top of the weeds.  We have no way to irrigate here so we hope there will be rain again soon.

Our piglets are growing well and enjoying their outdoor pen.  They are still a bit timid but if I get down they will come right over.  As they get older they lose the fear of people and sometimes can get to be quite pesty.  They are cute and fun at this age.  Seeing them enjoy themselves makes it hard for me to believe that the majority of the meat sold in stores comes from factory farms where they spend their lives on concrete floors in densely filled pens.  They actually have to cut the piglets tails off or they will eat each other tails out of boredom - definitely not a problem with piglets on pasture.

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